Contributed by Faye Rubinson, CSW Project SEED Co-Chair
CSW’s Project SEED program is alive and well, despite the departure of long-time Project SEED chairman, Dr. Ajay Mallia, in July. Our three events this summer—an orientation session, a career panel, and a workshop on technical presentations and writing—have been well-attended, and the evaluations of the program by this year’s students have been overwhelmingly positive. Our twenty participants this year hail from six different high schools, and a total of sixteen mentors at six different institutions have welcomed students into their laboratories.
The Project SEED Orientation was held on July 9th. After CSW President Dennis Chamot welcomed this year’s participants, their families, and a number of mentors to the 2016 SEED Orientation, the floor was turned over to Ajay Mallia for a summary of the history of Project SEED and CSW’s Project SEED program in particular. We then heard from Ms. Marta Walker about the potential impact that the Project SEED program can have on her high school students each year. We also heard from one of the 2016 SEED II students, Ms. Renard Petiamgamba, about her experience last summer. Dr. Travis Holman, a mentor in the program, shared his current appreciation of the opportunity to mentor the next generation of young scientists. The program then concluded with the introduction of this year’s Project SEED fellows:
On July 30th, our fellows returned to hear about a number of different types of careers from a panel of our local members: Dr. Svetla Baykoucheva (UMD), Dr. Wesley Farrell (NIST), Dr. Melissa Fernandez (NIH), Ms. Safia Jilani (Georgetown), and Dr. Kaveh Jorabchi (Georgetown). The students were particularly struck by the paths that the speakers had followed on the way to their current positions (which had included several twists and turns).
Most recently, Dr. Richard Goodman and Dr. Steven Metallo provided information on technical writing and presentations in anticipation of the final event of the SEED Program event: the Project SEED research symposium. The symposium will be held this year on September 10th at ACS Headquarters, from 9:30 AM – noon.
One new element of the program this year has been our cooperation with Project SEED program participants at University of Maryland Eastern Shore. The program there is being organized by Dr. Victoria Volkis. Her four students (Montajha Bowen, Cierra Jennestreet, Ashley Rochford, and Alaya Lewis) have been able to join us for the career panel and technical presentation programs, and we look forward to seeing them again at the research symposium.